Chocolate crinkle cookies are filled with rich, chocolatey goodness and feature a delightful, crackled appearance that makes them a standout on any cookie platter. Whether you’re baking for a cozy family gathering or spicing up your cookie exchange game, these crinkle cookies are sure to impress!
Chocolate crinkle cookies hold a special place in the heart of baking traditions. Their unique, crackled appearance not only makes them visually striking but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and warmth. Each bite brings to mind cozy family gatherings, holiday celebrations, and the simple joy of homemade treats.
Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Crinkle Cookie Recipe
Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, there’s something in this recipe for everyone to love. Here are a few reasons that make these cookies a standout in your baking repertoire:
- Simple ingredients, big flavor. Utilize everyday pantry items to create a cookie that’s bursting with rich chocolate flavor and fudgy texture.
- Stunning visual appeal. With their distinctive crackled tops and dusting of powdered sugar, these cookies are as beautiful as they are delicious.
- Fun to make. Whether you’re baking solo or with family and friends, the process of rolling the cookies in sugar and watching them crinkle is pure baking joy!
- Crowd-pleaser. These chocolate crinkle cookies are loved by both kids and adults. They hold a permanent spot on my list of best Christmas cookies, but they’re also a great choice any time of year. Perfect for sharing!
What You’ll Need
See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Here’s a quick look at the ingredients list and some helpful notes.
- All-purpose flour – Measure your flour by weight or use the spoon and sweep method. Learn more by reading up on how to measure flour.
- Baking powder – This gives your cookies a little bit of lift.
- Salt – You can make this recipe with sea salt, kosher salt, etc.
- Granulated sugar – You’ll need sugar for the cookie dough and also for rolling the cookies in before baking.
- Vegetable oil or canola oil – We’re using oil instead of butter to make the chocolate flavor really shine.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – I prefer natural cocoa powder here, but you could use Dutch process if you prefer.
- Eggs – Set these out before baking to allow them to come to room temperature. I recommend baking with large eggs.
- Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract is the way to go!
- Confectioners’ sugar – Also labeled as powdered sugar.
Why Double Coat the Cookies with Sugar?
My past experiences with crinkle cookies have often resulted in the coating not sticking well and not staying around for long. But then I read a suggestion from Dorie Greenspan to coat the cookie dough balls initially in a bit of granulated sugar before coating them in powdered sugar. That helps prevent the dough from absorbing the powdered sugar, meaning your cookies will look better longer.
How to Make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
The dough for these crinkle cookies comes together quickly and easily. Then the fun begins with coating them and watching them crinkle as they bake! Let’s get baking!
- Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients and cocoa. With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the sugar, oil, and cocoa powder until they’re combined. Then mix in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
- Finish mixing. Add the flour mixture to the cocoa mixture, and continue mixing until thoroughly moistened. The dough will be fairly thick and sticky.
- Chill the dough. Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
- Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Get the sugars ready. Place the remaining granulated sugar in a shallow bowl, and place the confectioners’ sugar in a separate shallow bowl.
- Portion and coat the cookies. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. (Portion with a cookie scoop for efficiency and consistency.) Roll each dough ball lightly in the granulated sugar, and then roll thoroughly in the confectioners’ sugar. Place the cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on the prepared pans.
- Bake the cookies. Place one pan of the cookies in the heated oven, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the centers are almost set. Repeat with the remaining dough. (Refrigerate any remaining dough between batches.) Don’t over-bake, or the cookies will be overly crispy and hard.
- Let them cool. Place the pans on wire racks, and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips to help make sure your chocolate crinkle cookies turn out perfectly!
- Use a good quality cocoa powder. Chocolate is the star here, so use a good cocoa powder for rich, decadent flavor.
- Keep the dough chilled. This sticky dough is much easier to handle when it’s chilled, and it also needs to be chilled to help create the crinkle effect. Return the dough to the refrigerator between batches as well as anytime it becomes difficult to handle. If yours still feels sticky, lightly dampen your palms to help shape the cookies more easily.
- Work in batches. Because of the sticky nature of the dough, I find it’s easier to portion the dough for one pan of cookies all at once. Then roll them in the sugars and bake. There’s no getting around these cookies being a solid candidate for making a mess, but this method keeps things a little neater.
- Coat the cookies generously. Don’t be shy with the confectioners’ sugar coating! They’ll be more eye-catching and crack open better.
- Don’t over-bake. The cookies should still be soft in the center when you take them out of the oven. Baking them too long will result in dry, hard cookies.
- Cool the pans between batches. This recipe makes a big batch of cookies, so you’ll likely need to reuse your baking pans. Be sure to let the pans cool completely before placing any more cookie dough on them. Using a still-warm pan will result in your cookies over-spreading and baking unevenly.
Why Are My Crinkle Cookies Not Cracking?
If you aren’t seeing the signature crackled look in your cookies, there are a few things to consider.
- Check your baking powder. Test it for freshness, and make sure you’re using the correct amount.
- Keep the dough chilled. This keeps the dough from over-spreading so that you get that crinkle.
- Check your oven temperature. An inexpensive oven thermometer can help you determine if your oven’s temperature reading is accurate.
- Don’t over-mix the dough. Too much mixing can make the dough too dense so that it doesn’t expand and crack open.
- Check your flour measurement. If you use too much flour, the dough may be too stiff to create the crinkled effect. If you aren’t measuring by weight, then lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it’s over-filled. Then use a straight edge (like the back of a butter knife) to level the top.
- Coat the cookies thoroughly with sugar. That powdered sugar coating isn’t just pretty and sweet; it also contributes to the crinkle effect.
Substitutions & Recipe Variations
For something a bit different, try a simple variation. Here are some ideas to try:
- Mocha. Add a teaspoon of espresso powder along with the flour for a subtle coffee flavor to complement the chocolate.
- Spiced. A pinch of cinnamon or a spice blend offers a warm, cozy twist.
- Peppermint. Substitute a bit of peppermint extract for some of the vanilla extract. A little goes a long way, so be conservative with it.
- Nutty. Add a handful of finely chopped nuts along with the flour for a bit of crunch.
- More chocolate. If you can’t get enough chocolate, toss in a handful of mini chocolate chips.
How to Store
After your chocolate crinkle cookies have cooled, place them in an airtight container with a sheet of parchment paper between layers. The cookies should keep for up to a week, although they’ll be at their best within the first few days.
Can I Freeze Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?
Yes, you can freeze these chocolate cookies for longer storage. Place the cooled cookies in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag. To keep them looking their best, you may want to wrap them individually before placing them in the container. Properly stored, the cookies should keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.
More Crinkle Cookie Recipes
If you loved these chocolate crinkle cookies, be sure to try these other crinkle cookie recipes as well!
- Sprinkle Crinkle Cookies
- Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies
- Key Lime Crinkle Cookies
- Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies